As the haze starts to clear in your mind, you are here, like really here; Ancient Egypt. Though you have entered and travelled to several Time zones and periods, this is the first time here. It is everything you dreamed and wished it was. You may have a mission to complete, but taking a little extra time can’t hurt that much, can it? Suddenly the yell of a nearby vendor snaps you out of your dream, as you turn to see your companion, The Ice Hunter, eating a roasted leg of lamb. ‘What I was hungry!’ he grins, and you are now rethinking your choice to bring him. Oh well too late now, better get on with the mission and hope your rouge friend, Leir arrives soon. As it will take all 3 of your skills to complete this mission; and a bit of luck to keep The Ice Hunter from getting you all arrested.
To set up Sarah’s Singularity, there are 10 easy steps. Made even easier by Daily Magic with the a helpful layout (See below)
- Separate the Mission cards (blue card backs) by the Time Zone symbols on their backs, then choose Time Zones equal to the number of players plus one. Shuffle each Mission stack separately and place the stacks face down in the centre of the play area from earliest Time Zone on the left to most recent Time Zone on the right. Turn the top card on each Mission stack face up below its stack.
- Place the 7 Zone tokens for each chosen Time Zone above its matching Mission stack. Return the unused Zone tokens to the box.
- Sort through all of the Companion cards (orange card backs), looking at the icon in the upper left corner, (Origin Zone) to find the cards matching the icons on the backs of the Mission stacks. Gather these Companion cards into a single stack and shuffle them thoroughly to form the Companion Deck. Return the unused Companion cards to the box.
- Create the Prime Row by dealing 7 Companion cards face-up in a row near the Mission stacks. Make sure the Origin Zone icon is visible on each card. Place the Sarah Prime token on top of the right-most card in the Prime Row.
- Deal one Companion card face-up below each revealed Mission card.
- Sort the Selector cards (Purple Back) so that each player has one Selector for each Time Zone shown on the Mission stacks. Return the unused Selector cards to the box.
- Give each player a random Sarah card (red card back).
- Deal 3 Companion cards face down to each player for their starting hand.
- Sort the Personal Objective cards to remove any Time Zones not included the Mission row. Shuffle the remaining Personal Objective cards and deal two to each player. Each player selects one Personal Objective card and returns the other to the box.
- Give the Chronologist token to one player at random.
Players will select a destination Time Zone and play one or more companion cards from their hand to that Zone. The goal is solve the Time Zone’s Mission by assigning companions who work together to combine their Zone and Skill icons to match all of the icons on the Mission card. In addition, a player may rescue a Companion from a Time Zone and, if the Companion’s Origin Zone did not match the Time Zone it was in, earn a Zone token which can be used as a wild icon to complete a Mission on a subsequent turn.
Sarah Prime – Take the right-most Companion in the Prime Row and look at it’s Origin Zone. Add the Companion card to the Companions already in the matching Time Zone in the Mission Row. Move the Sarah token on top of that Time Zone’s Mission stack. Sarah Prime is visiting that Time Zone and has just dropped off a Companion.
Select a Time Zone – Each player secretly decides on the Time Zone their Sarah will travel to and places their matching Selector card face-down on the table in front of them. When all players have selected a Time Zone, the Selector cards are revealed simultaneously.
Resolve Paradoxes – If two or more players have chosen the same Time Zone, or one or more players have chosen the Time Zone where the Sarah Prime token is located, a Paradox occurs. All players involved in a Paradox return their Sarah cards to the Sarah stack. The Sarah stack is shuffled and each affected player is dealt a new Sarah card.
Determine Turn Order – Players take their turns depending on which Time Zone they are operating in, with the player in the earliest Time Zone going first and the player in the most recent Time Zone going last. If two or more players are in the same Time Zone, the person holding the Chronologist token will decide the turn order within that Time Zone. The player chosen to go last in that Time Zone takes the Chronologist token and becomes the new Chronologist.
Take Your Turn – On your turn, you may do any, all, or none of these actions and may do them in any order they choose. Each action can only be performed once:
- Rescue a Companion – Pick up a Companion card from your Time Zone and add it to your hand. If this Companion was “Lost” (its Origin Zone is different than your current Time Zone), you also receive a Zone token from your current Time Zone if one is available.
- Drop Off a Companion – Play a Companion card from your hand to your current Time Zone. You may play multiple Companions from your hand to your current Time Zone if those Companions have an Origin Zone that matched your current Time Zone. If the Companion’s Origin Zone and your current Time Zone do not match, you can play only one Companion from your hand.
- Use Your Sarah Power – Your Sarah card has a special power that can be used once on your turn.
- Solve a Mission – If the combined Zone and Skill icons on the Companions in your current Time Zone meet or exceed the icons shown on the face-up Mission card located there, then you have solved the Mission. You may play one Zone token that matches your current Time Zone as a Wild Icon when solving a Mission. You take that Mission card and keep it face up in your player area. Discard all of the Companions in your Time Zone, reveal a new Mission card in your Time Zone, and deal a new face-up Companion card to your Time Zone.
- Hand Maintenance – If you have fewer than 3 Companion cards in your hand at the end of your turn, draw new cards until you have 3. If you have more than 5 companion cards, discard down to 5 cards. If the Companion deck is ever exhausted, reshuffle the Companion discards.
- Turn Over – When your turn is complete, the next player in Time Zone order takes their turn. When all players have completed their turns, return to Game Play: Sarah Prime and begin the next round.
The game ends immediately…
- At the end of round 7, when the Prime Row is empty.
- When the last Mission Card from any Time Zone is collected.
Once the game ends, you tally up the scores, players get points for the following:
- Completed Missions – The total point value of the Solved Mission cards collected during the game.
- Time Zone Tokens – One point for each Time Zone token collected.
- Mission Sets – The players that collected the most of each individual Mission Bonus icon (Fun, Adventure, Science, Profit) scores 4 points. If there is a tie for a Mission Set, those points are not awarded.
- Personal Objectives – Score the value of each Personal Objective card based on the criteria described on the cards.
The player with the most points wins, and becomes the new Sarah Prime!
Daily Magic Newest game Sarah’s Singularity is a knock out in my book, I love the theme, the art, the concept and the extremely clever game play. That being said, I so suck at this game, I have played it twice with 2 different groups of friends and out of the 11 games I have played, I haven’t become the Sarah’s Prime once. But I can’t help loving it.
Sarah’s Singularity’s concept and theme is stunning. I think many of us like the idea of time travel and going back in time; so explaining this game to my friends, I had them hooked from the moment I said time travel. I haven’t seen many games that try to tackle time travel in a board game and the few I have played have felt quite clunky or forced, one even just felt like the theme and game play were mismatched and misconnected. Yet Sarah’s Singularity handles it so well, not to mention, the time zones they have picked are all over the world and both BC and AD; or the fact that you are all technically playing the same character was a really nice touch too.
This is something I have come to love and expect when it comes to Daily Magic, their finesse and eye for detail is amazing. At times even going beyond great detail and taking it to the next level. it walks that line so beautifully of intelligence and complication; and yet fun and enjoyable. They could have quite easily have chosen to break it down into the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s or 17th, 18th and 19th Centuries. But no, they when the extra mile and choose pivotal times periods, dates and places in history like Thebes of 1000 Gates, Ancient Egypt, January, 1805 BC or Heian Palace, Feudal Japan, Winter, 1031. I feel like this level of detail is what makes this game stand out, it allows the theme come alive and impact the game more than if they had taken the other routes. This has allowed them to use the iconography from different periods to easily convey which time period is which. This allows for a better cohesion of theme, art and game; which sounds crazy but most games don’t always have this.
Well seeing I mentioned the art, I should really talk about it. I love the art, it has this beautiful familiarity and almost nostalgic factor to it, that I couldn’t quite place. It wasn’t until Andy said, this game reminds me of The Magic School Bus I used to watch as a kid, that it hit me. I loved the Magic School Bus as a kid and I believe that this show was the reason I continued to have a love of history. After hearing Andy say that, I was even more sold on the art & game alike, all those feelings and memories of my childhood relived in an even more enjoyable manner.
This has to be one of the best Time Travel game I have ever played, there are so much detail any refinement. From the use of Iconography from the different time zones; to the nostalgic artwork and level of effort and detail that has gone into it, this is definitely in my top 10 games this year I have reviewed.
If you would like to get your copy of Sarah’s Singularity’s, you can check out the preview of Daily Magic’s Kickstarter click here (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/dailymagicgames/1627252672?ref=356261&token=4881d8ea) , it will go live on the 24th of October.